Sometimes I feel like I’ve been around the blogging and internet marketing arena for just about forever. Then there are days when I realize that what was old is becoming new again, and I know I’ve been here for too long! Today that thinking applies to blog posts and the length of them.
When I first starting blogging way back in 2003 short blog posts were a given. You didn’t want to make them any more than about 250 words because you knew no one was really going to take the time to read them. I always had a hard time with this because, as you can tell, I can get a little long-winded.
Then came the first Google-slap and 250 words were too little. The preferred length of post needed to be around 400 words. The next time around, the length was increased to between 500 and 700 words. And let me tell you, I was in blogging heaven because for me 700 words is about as short as they get!
Now it seems, we have come full circle and regardless of what the might search engines have to say, short blog posts are becoming popular again. In fact, one of the biggest takeaways I got from Kelly McCausey’s Smart Curation Skills course is that it’s perfectly okay to write short posts once in awhile.
That doesn’t mean your short posts should be any less informative than a longer one. In fact, they should be more informative and easier to read precisely because you are giving your readers only the information they need without all the filler fluff.
Five Tips for Creating Short Blog Posts
1. Make sure your blog post has a clear purpose. If you’re unsure of why you’re writing, it’s easy to get off track and ramble.
2. Create an outline and use it! Do your research and create an outline for your post before you sit down to write it. It makes it much easier to be clear and concise when all you have to do is flesh out the points you’ve already decided on.
3. Have a word count in mind before you start. If you know you’ve only got so many words to use to get your point across, it’s easy to get rid of the fluff. Think about twitter and how easy it is to say what you need to in 140 characters, then apply that to your blog posts.
4. Write like you talk. (Yes, I know that’s not grammatically correct.) Unless you’re writing fiction, you don’t need to add a lot of descriptive text to your posts. So write as if you were telling a friend about whatever it is you’re writing about.
There’s a reason that lists and step-by-step posts are among the most popular.
5. Make your post visually pleasing. As much as I love to read, I’m finding out that most people don’t. If you make your post visually easy to look at with lots of white space, relevant graphics and bullet points it’s not only easy on the eye, it’s also easier to get your point across. In this case a picture is worth at least a couple hundred words, maybe more.
Where To Get Content for Short Blog Posts
So now that you know how to create a short blog post, here are a few places you can find content to create them with.
1. Learn how to curate content from other sources. There’s so much content out there that neither you or your audience will ever be able to tackle it all. You can create short blog posts by sharing curating content that you come across. Add a short description of why the content is relevant, post the link to it, and voila — a short blog post!
That’s a really basic explanation of content curation. If you want to learn more, and some really cool tricks for managing massive amounts of information, you really should check out Kelly’s course.
2. Break up long posts. You know the ones I’m talking about… those huge 10 tips type posts that ended up being 800 or 900 words long. You can repurpose something like that into 10 short posts by taking each point and making it into its own post. Add a little more detail, an example or two, and you’ve got another great short, focused, blog post.
If your blog is anything like mine, re-purposing all that long-winded content will keep you busy for awhile!
3. Create a Q&A series. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. When someone asks a question answer it with a short post. You can bet that if one person had the guts to ask the question, there are several more readers who were thinking that they’d like to know the answer as well.
You could even create a specific Q & A day, so that readers know to check your blog that day for answers to their questions.
The great thing about publishing short blog posts is that you give your readers what they want in a format they can easily consume. Social media has conditioned us to want information in short, focused bursts. These tips should give you some ideas on how to create short posts that satisfy your readers while still getting your message across.